April 28: Today in Christian History

April 28: Today in Christian History

April 28, 1220

Work on Salisbury Cathedral begins under the auspices of Bishop Richard Poore.

April 28, 1550

Death of Georg von Polentz. He had been the first Reformation bishop of Samland and Pomesania, a region in Prussia.

April 28, 1721

In England an order in council is issued, denouncing “Hell Fire” societies whose members allegedly held meetings to ridicule religion and offer blasphemous toasts.

April 28, 1848

John Bird Sumner is enthroned as archbishop of Canterbury. An evangelical, he had vigorously improved the diocese of Chester, consecrating over two hundred new churches; had voted for removal of restrictions on Catholics; and had written many books. In Records of Creation, he held that Moses' accounts of creation were credible and fit well with scientific findings. As archbishop he would deal even-handedly with the high and low church parties.

April 28, 1862

Death of George Washington Bethune, hymn translator, Reformed church pastor, while preaching in Florence, Italy. He will be buried in September and his hymn “It Is Not Death to Die” will be sung at his funeral.

April 28, 1872

Frances Havergal, in Winterdyne, England, writes the words to the hymn “A Worker’s Prayer” aka “Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak.” One stanza reads, “O teach me, Lord, that I may teach /The precious things Thou dost impart; /And wing my words, that they may reach /The hidden depths of many a heart.”

April 28, 1911

Thousands of Genevans demonstrate for five hours against a religiously inspired ban on gambling. A shocked Karl Barth is appalled at their mindless slogans and comes out in support of the ban.

April 28, 1916

Death in New York City of Congregationalist clergymen and social gospel advocate Josiah Strong, who had sought to apply Protestant ideals to social problems. He had been a strong advocate of missions, believing that only redemption through Christ could change people’s behavior. His most influential book had been Our Country: Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis.

April 28, 1920

Bolsheviks establish their power in Azerbaijan and will soon promote atheism and hostilities against religion, leading to persecution and suffering among people of all faiths.

April 28, 1939

Soviets arrest Natalya Ivanovna Sundukova, daughter of a priest, on grounds that she leads a counter-revolutionary church cell in Stalinabad. She will be imprisoned and eventually shot for counter-revolutionary activity, dissemination of Christian teaching among prisoners, and refusal to work for the atheist regime.

April 28, 1955

Christian Missionary Alliance pilot Albert Lewis crashes his flying boat in a pass leading into Baliem Valley in what was then Netherlands New Guinea. Before his untimely death, ten thousand souls had been brought to Christ in part because of his supporting ministry.

April 28, 1968

On this day, Popular Nigerian Gospel Preacher and Evangelist Pastor David Ogbueli was born.

April 28, 1973

Death at Toulouse of Jacques Maritain, a leading neo-Thomist philosopher.

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